What is the “Two-House Teaching”? It is known by several names, both positive and disparaging. It is called “Two-House Thealogy”, the “Two-House Doctrine”, the “Two-House Ideology”, the “Two-House Movement”, the “Two-House Heresy”, the “Ephraimite Movement”, the “Ephraimite Fallacy”, and the “Ephraimite Error”, but it would be more accurately called the “Two-House Reality”.
The Reality in a Nutshell
The Two-House Teaching is called the “TWO-House” Teaching because the House of Jacob (Israel) was unfortunately divided at its onset. The Division goes all the way back to the conundrum Jacob found himself in while living with his Uncle Laban. Jacob had tricked his brother Esau shortly before to obtain the birthright blessings of Isaac. Later, Jacob reaps from that trickery by being tricked himself. He ends up having to marry two wives, Rachel and Leah. Those two (and their individual concubines) gave him sons who never fully united into one cohesive family. Rachel gave birth to “Joseph”, the name later applied to the Northern Kingdom of Israel, where the “House of Joseph” was sometimes attributed to 10-Israel (what later became known in legend as “the 10 Lost Tribes”). Leah gave birth to “Judah” and it was his descendants that the Southern Kingdom of Judah would later be derived. This division can also be seen even after King David united them all under one banner, where the troop censuses were always done separating or attributing those of “Israel” and those of “Judah”.
Jacob’s youngest son, Benjamin, would eventually and maybe prophetically become the bridge between the divide. Benjamin was the only full brother of Joseph, but Benjamin’s descendants largely dwelt within the population of Judah and were assimilated into the Kingdom of Judah. The best example of this family bridge being manifested is in the life of the Apostle Paul, who was a Benjamite (Philippians 3:5) of the Kingdom of Judah. He has been called by many to be the “Apostle to the Gentiles”, bringing them the message of Messiah Yeshua (Jesus). More with that connection in a moment.
Why is the Two-House Teaching significant to you and the world?
The House of Joseph (10-Israel) consists of more than just legend or fairy tales. In another article (The Promise of Hebrew Multitudes), I list a myriad of Prophetic Scripture promises made directly to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Ephraim… where in no uncertain terms they are “unconditionally” promised to be fathers to great multitudes (i.e. “the sands of the sea”). More specifically, Ephraim was promised that his descendants would become “fullness of the nations/peoples/GENTILES/goyim” (Genesis 48:19). What that means is somewhat debatable unless you consider all the other promises given to him and his ancestral line.
This is where we return to the Apostle Paul. As I said before, he was the “Apostle to the Gentiles”, or at least that is the phrase we inherit from English translations of the Christian NT. But he was actually going and wanting to go to the “Goyim”, the known areas where “Ephraim” (the Fullness of the Goyim) had been scattered and/or deported prior to, during, and after the Assyrian Captivity of the House of Israel (Joseph) between 740-722BCE. Paul was obeying the instruction of Yeshua (Jesus) to go “rather to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel” (Matthew 10:6). And Paul being a Benjamite, a descendant of Benjamin, had a profound and intimate connection with the Goyim of scattered Ephraim (Benjamin’s nephew). He knew that the Death and Resurrection of Messiah was an important and ONLY doorway for Ephraim to return to the Father and return to the Commonwealth of Israel.
In our present time, this prophetic “REALITY” of Ephraim’s descendants is important because it means Jacob’s house is much larger than what is internationally known and accepted to be: that is, “the Jews”. It also turns on its head the shallow Bible exegesis of many theologians (both Jewish and Christian)… and has profound ramifications even with the current Middle East Peace Process… where Palestinian Muslims claim they have a “right of return” to “their” lands that “those” Jews took from them. In reality, there is a much larger population descending from the House of Joseph who have a much older and prophetic “right of return” and the Prophets indicate 10-Israel WILL indeed return (for example: see Ezekiel 37 and Zechariah 10). The international community and their leaders have no clue that the Jews largely only represent the House of Judah, and most of them would probably rather not know or understand that reality. The situation is overwhelming complicated for those charged with Political Correctness, and in fact, the return of Ephraim (10-Israel) to the Land of Israel will not happen by the mere efforts of men anyway. The Orthodox Jews don’t want Ephraim there unless they convert to their Orthodoxy and the Palestinian Muslims certainly don’t want them there.
So… while Ephraim awakes (Luke 15:17) he must also painfully wait… for the appearing of Elijah (Malachi 4) before the restoration happens, where the Two-House Reality becomes a One-House Reality.